Posts Tagged ‘Mark Rothko’

a rothko kind of day

January 21, 2012

Saturday, January 21st and the city’s seeing its first serious snowfall of the season. Very strange – the delayed season this year, not the fact that we’re seeing some winter at last here.

Overnight showers have left a skiff here or there over the last month or so, but nothing like the inches that are (finally!) starting to pile up now on the apartment windowsills.

Took a drive past the nearby beach earlier today and I was struck with how the low atmosphere flattens out the layers of foreground (snowy beach, low tide beach) and background (Massachusetts Bay and sky) into a Rothko-reminiscent scene of stacked horizontal panels.

(l) Rothko's Untitled (Blue, Deep Blue, Yellow) - (r) Wollaston Beach

May there be many more days like this before spring comes.


rothko, but not feldman.

February 19, 2011

Feldman's "Rothko Chapel" CD

Why do people appreciate the minimalist paintings of Mark Rothko, but not the music of experimental composers such as Morton Feldman, Karlheinz Stockhausen and John Cage? That’s the question Jim Fleming asks on this week’s “To the Best of Our Knowledge”.

The idea comes from David Stubbs’ 2009 book, “Fear of Music”. Good observations in this show, including Stubbs’ musing that the brain’s different ways of processing infomation may contribute directly to the phenomenon.

After devoting the first two segments of the program to innovators like Stockhausen and Cage, I do wish the show had found a more compelling subject for the last one. Self-aggrandizing superstar pianist Lang Lang hardly speaks to the avant-garde, nor was there any real attempt to connect his appearance on the program with the ideas or other content of the first two segments.

Why not conclude the program with the California EAR Unit, the Bowed Piano Ensemble, the American Modern Ensemble , the Vemont Contemporary Music Ensemble, or any number of other modern performers whose everyday endeavors work to bridge that gap between audiences and contemporary music?

Lang Lang. Why?

Regardless, nice to hear such a thoughtful program on the air.

%d bloggers like this: